Posts Tagged ‘Injury’

Stay on Track: The Backup Plan

December 28, 2010

You’ve joined the gym.  You hung the inspirational photos up, bought the food, told your friends and planned out your month.  “I’m gonna do this,” you told yourself.  Inevitably, a circumstance presents itself and your plans go by the wayside.   Below are some examples of how life gets in the way:

  • a family member gets sick and you’re stuck caring for them
  • unavoidable work travel or you’re working until midnight
  • someone throws a party and you have to attend: all they serve is mac & cheese
  • your spouse is a lazy bum and wants you to ‘stay home & cuddle’
  • you sprain your ankle

…and there it went.  All that dedication.  Oh well, better luck next year…right?  WRONG!!  Sometimes the best of intentions never come to fruition because we don’t have a ‘Plan B’.

WORK OUT AT HOME:  If you can’t get to the gym and have no equipment at home, this workout will make you sore.  Many magazines feature ‘workouts of the month’ and the internet has free inspiration everywhere.  Having some equipment on hand will keep your program interesting and challenging.  Below is a partial list:

If you have a little space in your basement, living room or den, pull these items out of the corner and bust a move for 20-45 minutes on those roadblock days.

YOU’RE INJURED.  So you sprain your ankle.  This doesn’t mean you get to skip the gym!  Modify, modify, modify!!  Avoid lunges or anything that will further injure your ankle, like running.  Instead, use the recumbent bike, do a pilates dvd and work upper body with heavy weights until you’re feeling better.

WORK GETS IN THE WAY.  Set an alarm on your computer every hour and walk to the water cooler.  Stretch.  If you can, leave the building for fresh air.  Walk around the block.  Keep a fruit bowl on your desk and a protein bar in the drawer.  Glued to your desk?  Close the door, put the conference call on speaker and do some squats, lunges, bicep curls and pushups.  Come on.  You’ve done stranger things in your office, don’t lie!

THE TRAVEL PROBLEM.  Going somewhere?  Pack your running shoes, some trail mix and a jump rope.  Book a hotel with a gym or a pool and use it.  If you don’t have access to a gym, research the area and find a local running group.  Run stadium stairs or do hill sprints at the local park.  Use the concierge as a fitness resource.

Success comes in many forms:  Having several back-up plans to overcome unforeseen roadblocks are just as important as the goal itself.  Planning for the unexpected is what will keep you from derailing 6 weeks from now.

No excuses, no nonsense.  Dedication pays for itself.

Hanging on for dear life

December 8, 2010

In the gym, have you ever noticed the dude on the treadmill with the incline crazy-jacked all the way up to the max?  He’s white-knuckling the top of the machine for dear life!  I can’t help but do a ‘gawker slowdown’ as I pass by…all I wanna do is pull the damn electrical cord out of the wall!  What’s he doing?!  Certainly more harm than good, and he’s not alone.

Ever see someone reading a magazine while running on the treadmill?  I have, and 4 minutes later they were sitting on the sidelines nursing a bruised elbow and ego.  How about the chick on the recumbent bike going so slow she might as well be asleep?  My favorite is the person on the elliptical hunched over her arms, legs going round and round 10 miles a minute.  What’s up with that?

If you’re going to spend time in the gym, make it matter.  Pay attention.  If it feels like cheating, IT IS!

Holding on to cardio machines such as a treadmill, stepmill or propping yourself up to move your legs on a stairmaster does the body bad.  Clearly the intensity level is set above your own level of fitness and injury is definitely in your future.  In the gym, poor posture, a tense neck or locked elbows with shoulders elevated will land you in the physical therapist’s office or worse!  My advice?  Simply take the intensity down to a manageable level and work your way up.   Train in the gym how you want to be in life:  with good posture, a strong core and great balance.

Foot Schmoot. Work it out!

September 15, 2010

I had minor foot surgery Monday. Bad timing all around, since I’m just getting back from a 3-week hiatus and September is an important month in my line of work. However, in my book there never is a good time for foot surgery. Just get it done.

So, I had it done and I’m in a lot of pain. Each step I take literally sends shocks up my leg (my nerves were involved).

Most people would say that this is a good time to take it easy, give myself a break and fully recover before going back to the gym. However, since it’s me we’re talking about, you can bet your socks that I found a way to hit the gym. There are still countless ways I can challenge myself without involving my foot:

A couple cardio options

  • The arm bike
  • The recumbent bike

Strength options can include

  • Seated cable rows
  • Supine chest press
  • Seated shoulder press
  • Lat pulldown

(Basically any upper body strength exercise that can be performed seated or lying down)

Examples of core exercises might be

  • Crunches with knees & feet elevated
  • Reverse crunches
  • Criss-cross crunches

Legs? Legs!! Check it out!

  • Hip Abduction/Adduction
  • Knee extension
  • Hamstring curls

See?!